Ahearn leads Missouri St. past Wisc.-Milwaukee
|No. Iowa||Bucknell||65-61 (2OT)|
|Kent State||Butler||80-76 (OT)|
|Western Ky.||No. Arizona||79-58|
|La. Tech||So. Illinois||54-51|
|George Mason||Wichita St.||70-67|
|Utah State||Northwestern St.||66-63|
The Bears (18-7) won their third straight game and sixth of their last seven outings.
The contest was one of 13 BracketBusters games ESPN televised to provide national exposure to mid-major teams that have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament.
The Panthers lost their second straight game and fourth of their last six to fall to 18-8.
The Panthers were without starting forward Adrian Tigert, who hurt his back a week ago in Milwaukee's 86-57 victory over Cleveland State. He was averaging 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds.
The Bears were on top by 11 points at 52-41 with 11:01 left after a pair of free throws by Bilyeu.
The Panthers, though, battled back to within 63-60 on a basket by McCoy with 1:06 left. On the next possession, Bilyeu was fouled and made two free throws for a five-point Missouri State lead with 55 seconds left. Milwaukee never got that close again.
The Bears led 34-28 at halftime.
Sky Frazier's layup with 15:32 left to play in the first half put Missouri State on top for good in the period at 7-6. Missouri State's biggest lead was eight points.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press